Thursday, March 31, 2011

A "Catholic difference"? (Part 2)

I am thinking of two people.

The first person is a member of my parish. This is where I meet him. He is a nice guy. I see him at Mass on Sunday. Later, I realize that he too is a mathematician and works for an employer similar to mine.

The second person is a colleague. I have met him at work. Like others in our field, I respect his technical expertise. Later, I find out that he too is Catholic. Occasionally, I go to Mass at his parish on my way to work and see him there.

In a sense, I may think of the first man as "a Catholic who happens to be a mathematician" and of the second man as "a mathematician who happens to be Catholic."

Is there a difference?

For me as a fellow Catholic, there may be no difference. I recognize the necessity for a Catholic to integrate his faith and his work: to be a "good Catholic" on the job and to do well at a job as an expression of the values of faith. Both of these men are valuable role models to me.

But if I was not Catholic, would there be a difference in the potential for these men to be an "undercover missionary" to me?

1 comment:

  1. Everyone in my office knows I'm Catholic. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how it happened. Among my friends, I'll happily talk about Catholicism, but I try not to force it on folks I don't know well, or in very professional situations. And yet the word gets out. Maybe people are just hungry for the truth about the Church. Maybe they're surprised to meet a Catholic who not only goes to church each Sunday, but actually professes the faith and strives to live it out as best he can.

    I've thought about trying to keep my faith under wraps on the job market, but interviews in my field generally involve a multi-day visit. I may not open an interview with "Hey, I'm Catholic!" but after a couple days, it's bound to come out. And why should I hide it? I wouldn't want to work somewhere that hates Catholics anyway. Instead, I try to live an integrated life, be a model of my profession and also a model of my faith. Hopefully it works some times.


Thanks for your comment!